Notre Dame and Michigan State went through a familiar formula. The Notre Dame-Michigan State game began to look like Notre Dame-Michigan last week, and not in a good way for Irish fans. Notre Dame and Michigan State were in a shootout, with the Irish up by three late, but the Spartans were driving deep into Irish territory. It looked like Notre Dame-Michigan State would end with a late Spartans touchdown and an Irish loss, like in Ann Arbor last week. However, a big mistake by the Spartans helped things turn out much better for Notre Dame, to their great relief.
Notre Dame-Michigan State was another thriller for the Irish, and a much better one, as they won 33-30. But things were in danger late, as Michigan State marched into the red zone and looked set to win in the final seconds, like Michigan did against the Irish last week.
This time, the Notre Dame-Michigan State match ended with an interception, not a touchdown. The Spartans’ Kirk Cousins overthrew a wide open man in the end zone, and then threw right to the Irish’s Kyle McCarthy on the next play. Instead of getting a tying field goal, at least, the Spartans lost while the Irish rejoiced, having possibly saved their season.
Notre Dame-Michigan State was already a rough game for Irish fans, after Jimmy Clausen seemed to hurt his foot. Even though Clausen stayed in throughout, the Spartans made a few rallies. But Clausen got the winning touchdown throw with five minutes left, then watched the Irish defense bend, but not break.
Both Notre Dame and Michigan State came in after rough weeks, with the Irish loss at Ann Arbor and the Spartans’ upset loss to Central Michigan. Notre Dame rebounded just a little better, in the nick of time.
If the Irish lost, they would have been 1-2 and in massive trouble, in regards to the BCS. The BCS is so desperate for Notre Dame to be included – despite horrific BCS performances lately – that they could probably get in with a 9-3 record. At 1-2, and with a clash against USC on the way, the Irish would have needed to be almost perfect the rest of the way. But instead, at 2-1, there is a little more wiggle room for Notre Dame.
The Notre Dame-Michigan State clash leaves the Spartans in a desperate spot at 1-2 instead, with their next greatest arch-rival, Michigan, coming in two weeks.
Associated Press- “Clausen throws 2 TD passes, in 33-30 victory” www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gfJsaEXG2S0ECVSyQxmf2KwlH8UgD9AQMIMG0
ESPN- “Spartans fall just short in South Bend” espn.go.com/blog/ncfnation/post/_/id/7610/spartans-fall-just-short-in-south-bend